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Today’s guest post comes from my co-worker and good friend, Tony Giuliano.
Tony is the hardest working dude I know, and a great coach. I’m honored to be able to give you guys this short article he wrote.
This guy wanted to give everyone a quick philosophical tip. And he even talks about a car wreck!
Alright, enough man crushing. Without further ado, I present to you Tony Giuliano.
To confess, I’ve always been lazy.
Like, super lazy. I know it’s human nature to put in the least amount of effort possible. But seriously, I would never study growing up. Even up until I finished my Kinesiology degree in 2012… let’s just say I was not the best student.
Heck, we were just on fall break and I wanted to study the nervous system. I got out of my routine just a little bit, distracting thoughts enter my head, and then I essentially became useless.
I’ll write those two days off as a needed break, but it’s amazing what a small change in your schedule can do to you.
More specifically for me, it’s a lack of schedule that is most crippling.
I run into people every day who ask how I do the things I do. “You’re just studying that… for fun?” I was walking with a friend yesterday who asked how she can stop procrastinating everything to the last minute.
Let’s talk about it.
Living the life of a perpetual student, I’ve heard many of my students and fellow classmates say, “What do we need to learn this for? I’m never going to need this.”
How can you say you won’t need something before you fully understand it?
The undertone here is that you think you are an omniscient being. Bertrand Russell would have called you a genius:
Ignore fact and reason, live entirely in the world of your own fantastic and myth-producing passions; do this whole-heartedly and with conviction, and you will become one of the prophets of your age.
-Bertrand Russell, “How to Become a Man of Genius” (28 December 1932)
This thought process puts you in a fixed mindset, locking your ability to learn in a proverbial safe that protects you from actually growing.
Do you want to lose the most weight you can? I hope you paid attention in physics, chemistry, and biology.
Initially, the information crossover is not obvious. It’s hard to see how something pertains to your interests—sometimes it’s impossible to see—but that doesn’t mean that a relationship doesn’t exist.
Everything is related to everything else.
If you’re interested in one thing, you’re interested in absolutely everything.
I want you to know what Isaac Newton discovered. How to do “work” in the physical sense. I want you to know why caffeine wakes you up and why you get so sleepy if you go without it. How your body uses food to make energy. How to use Excel to track your progress.
You will never know when you’ve learned everything you need to. That point does not exist. Thankfully, too, because now I have something to do for the next 70 years.
View learning as focus-oriented. If I’m interested in the brain, I’m going to start reading about that, but when that gets boring, I’ll pick up the next subject I want to learn. Maybe I’ll come back to the brain in four months. Maybe I’ll move on.
Try new things. It amazes me when I do stuff these days and immediately think of a vivid memory from my childhood. Torque has always made sense to me because I used to climb the big tree in my backyard. I would go as high as I could go, but I had to make sure that, as the branches got smaller, my weight wouldn’t break them off (causing Newton’s gravitational laws to come back into play).
Even the impression teachers can leave on you is amazing. I still remember making ice cream in 8th grade, or chewing that gum with the lights out to see it spark in 5th grade. Or that same 5th grade science teacher singing Barry Manilow, teaching us about music, rhythm, and setting aside the fear of what others think. In science class.
My lesson to you: do everything you can. Learn everything you can. When you wonder about the world, you have found optimal experience.
Now here’s a new song to experience.
Most of you who read my blog already know what it means when I say PRI. There is some misconception around the internet as to what PRI can do for you and where it fits into your treatment model as a strength coach, personal trainer, chiro, physical therapist, or whatever you do.
PRI comprises the bulk of my assessment and reassessment protocol for new clients. It is the base of my methodology. Eric does a great job of explaining the thought process in a way that is much more articulate than I could ever hope to convey.
The foreword below is Bill Hartman, and the information is courtesy of Eric Oetter, who writes from the perspective of physical therapy and strength & conditioning. The post speaks for itself and I share it here because the content needs to be disseminated to the masses. Pass it along.
BH: “This a post from our boy Eric Oetter. It’s probably the best written synopsis of therapeutic intervention with an understanding of the role that Postural Restoration Institute methodology and other tools play in the process. It needs to be passed around to everyone especially those responsible for educating the next generation of clinicians and practitioners. Please share.”
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the path to system variability and pain-free movement is gated by neuroception (i.e. limbic threat appraisal) and autonomic nervous system output. And its these two properties of the nervous system which govern the effects of the innumerable methodologies therapists use to expunge system rigidity.
Autonomous of discipline or method, clinicians intervene at the level of the receptor (rods, otoliths, mechanoreceptors, etc.), engendering unique signal transduction and transmission into a sea of equal status patterns which participate in collective summing within the brain.
We’d hope our therapeutic inputs contribute to a modification in the perceptive capabilities of the patient, though (as we all know) this is not always the case. Some inputs never reach the level of perception while others exceed the adaptive capacity of an already rigid system, perpetuating chronic limbic hijack and sympathetic dominance.
But a positive change in perception opens valuable cortical real estate for neuroplastic remapping via graded exposure, which is the substrate for system variability. This is really the goal of any physical therapy intervention.
So, how do we know we’re dealing with a rigid system in the first place? And furthermore, how can we evaluate the efficacy of our inputs with respect to restoring system variability?
Beyond many other “systems” I’ve experimented with, PRI seems to provide the most cogent answers to the above questions. And it’s the “umbrella” which explains, to me, why other methods work.
What PRI provides is a means to identify a predictable pattern of ANS-mediated anti-gravitational motor output for a collection of systems held in some degree of rigidity. The perspective they bestow is quite comprehensive; PRI is a unified system respective of ALL sensory inputs capable of influencing reticular output (mechanoreception, vision, audition, etc.).
But woven through its complexities, their simple orthopedic testing and treatment algorithms provide a reliable means to assess this aberrant output, as well as evaluate the systemic and perceptual perturbations that might follow any therapeutic intervention (PRI, Mulligan, Maitland, MDT, ART, etc).
Because interventions can be both synergistic or antagonistic to the pattern PRI presents, utilizing a withdrawal A-B-A study design during a treatment session (with the patient functioning as their own control) upholds an element of internal validity beyond what other systems might be able to provide. I’d argue this makes PRI a powerful adjunct to anything you’re already doing, as we scrounge for external validity in a increasingly heterogeneous population.
PRI treatment aims to recapture reciprocal and alternating movement in three planes across the three girdles of the body. And PRI is never about fixing posture – it’s about restoring system balance, variability, and adaptive potential.